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Preparing For Breast Surgery

Knowing what questions to ask before breast cancer surgery can give you a measure of control and confidence.

If you are about to undergo breast surgery and treatment, it’s natural to feel a certain loss of control. Focusing on the things that you can control is one way to minimise uncertainty. Anticipate and plan ahead for your needs and you will feel one step closer to a full recovery. 

preparing for breast surgeryFeel Prepared Before Breast Surgery 

First, consider contacting a local breast cancer organisation and get in touch with someone who has been through the same procedure and treatment plan as you. Although every experience is unique, talking to someone may help you know what to expect. 

You will also want to ask your health team questions about your surgery and recovery. (See the checklist below.) Have a partner, friend, or family member write down the answers to the questions so you can refer to them later.

Questions to Ask Before Surgery

  • What type of procedure am I having?
  • How long is my hospital stay?
  • How long will I be in surgery?
  • Where will my incisions be and how long are they?
  • When will we get the results from pathology?
  • What are the possible side effects to my surgery and treatment?
  • Will I have a surgical drain?
  • How much will my mobility be affected by the procedure and for how long?
  • Are there medications or dietary supplements that I should stop taking prior to my surgery?
  • Do I need to bring a post-surgical garment to wear home from the hospital or will one be provided?
  • Can you help me with, or do you have a list of local stores that can provide me with, post-breast surgery products?  

You will also need to coordinate with friends and family to help with a few things such as arranging for transportation home from hospital, transportation to follow-up appointments, meals, and child or pet care.